The Hubschmann Monument, Hipsman Burying Ground, Shohola, PA

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Erected in 1901, likely by Valentine Hipsman, this monument stands at the center of the Hipsman plot on the old family farm burying ground, later known as German Hill Cemetery. The monument is unique in the area for honoring the Old World family surname, Hubschmann, yet is crowned with the shield of the Great Seal of the United States and inscribed with the given names of his first wife and young children, anglicized surname Hipsman in government records, who died in the 1870s.

Valentine's given name and that of his second wife, Josephine, would be added at their deaths in 1923 and 1927 respectively. The government issue Civil War veterans' headstone for Valentine E. Hipsman would be added to the plot before October of 1934, when a compilation of the cemetery's burials would be conducted by the local Daughters of the Union Chapter.

The flourishes of the late Victorian era excerpt below do have some critical errors:  No evidence is found in a page by page search for the family in Shohola Township in the 1860 census, though military records place Valentine in Shohola by 1862. No 1860 NY census record has been found to date for either father or son but given the possibility of surname variants or transcription errors this may not be surprising.  A search for the original deed is in order. (An adopted son, Herman, born in  New York in 1880, appears in the Valentine Hipsman household in the 1900 census.) Another discrepancy lies  in the stated 1870 census birth year, 1824, for George F., against his tombstone inscription, 1806.

VALENTINE E HIPSMAN is one of the most prominent and influential citizens of Shohola Township, Pike County, and has been actively identified with its agricultural interests for many years. An adopted son of America, his loyalty is above question, for he was one of the brave defenders of the Union during the dark days of the Civil War. Our subject's great-grandfather Hipsman (or Huebschmann,as the name was originally spelled) was a traveling landscape painter, and during his travels went to Saxony, Germany, where he was employed to paint some Biblical scenes in the Lutheran church at Steinbach. Being pleased with the country, he married and located there. His son Casper was born in Saxony and became a cabinet maker. He married and reared a family of five children, three sons and two daughters. George Frederick Hipsman, the son of Casper Hipsman, and father of our subject, was born in Steinbach, Saxony, April 13, 1806, and during his youth learned the locksmith's trade, but only followed it for a few years, obtaining a government position as game keeper, which situation he held for many years. 

 In 1836 he married Elizabetha Weisenborn, and to them were born two children, namely: Elizabeth, now the widow of Peter Eckhart, of Shohola Township; and Valentine Elias, our subject. The mother of these dying, the father subsequently married Elizabeth Mudler, by whom he also has two children: Augustus, who was born in Saxony, September 17, 1851, and died at the age of fourteen; and Mary, who was born August 31, 1856 and is now the wife of William Erie [John Erich, Ehrick], of Niles, Mich. The mother of these passed away September 4, 1871, at Shohola. In 1852 the family took passage on a sailing craft bound for America, and were seven weeks and three days crossing the ocean. They located at Monroe, Orange Co., N.Y., but after a short stay removed to Turners, same county, where the father engaged in farming. On April 1, 1856, they came to Shohola township, Pike Co., Penna., and purchased forty-two and one half acres of wild land, which the other members of the family worked while the father worked on the railroad. He was killed by the cars, March 23, 1871, while employed as night watchman.

Valentine E. Hipsman was born in Steinbach, Saxony, January 2, 1840, and received a fair education in the German language. He accompanied the family on their emigration to America, and at the age of thirteen began working for farmers in Orange County N.Y. When seventeen he became a driver on the canal, and subsequently learned the carpenter's trade, at which he was employed at different places in northeastern Pennsylvania for some time. In September, 1862, however he laid aside all personal interests and joined the boys in blue as a member of Company B, 151st P.V.I. With his regiment he proceeded to Virginia, and was on picket duty at the old Bull Run battle ground and also further down the Potomac river. He took part in the battle of Chancellorsville, and on the first day of the battle of Gettysburg, July 1, 1863, had his right arm shot off.

Valentine E Hipsman

After his recovery he returned to Shohola, and for seven years acted as night watchman on the Erie railroad. The following six years he was engaged in mercantile business at that place, and on selling out at the end of that time he returned to the old homestead in Shohola township.. To its cultivation and further improvement he has since devoted his energies with marked success, and he now owns 445 acres of land in Pike County, sixty of which are under excellent cultivation.

At Shohola, April 2, 1866, Mr Hipsman was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Kreiter, who died March 29, 1879. Seven children blessed this union: Emma Elizabeth, born January 31, 1867, is at home; Margaret, born February 5, 1868, is the wife of George W. Cole, [1863-1933] of Middletown, N.Y.; Josephine, born October 31, 1869, died May 16, 1876; Elizabeth, born August 31, 1871, died May 3, 1876; Emil L., born July 15, 1873, died June 2, 1876; 

Bertha Hipsman Reugger

Bertha Georgiana, born September 22, 1875, was married January 30, 1897, to Charles Reugger, of Matamoras, Pike County; and Anna Cathryn, born October 6, 1877, is at home. Mr. Hipsman was again married, September 12, 1879, his second union being with Mrs. Josephine (Kreiter) Keller, a sister of his first wife. One daughter was born of this union: Gertrude, born August 19, 1882. 

Mr. Hipsman has been called upon to serve his fellow citizens as supervisor twelve years; overseer of the poor fourteen years; constable sixteen years; tax collector sixteen years; assessor one year; and school director several terms. Socially he has been a member of the Improved Order of the Red Men for ten years, and is also a prominent member of the Grand Army of the Republic, having served as commander of the post at Barryville, N.Y.

Emma Hipsman

He and his wife hold membership in the German Lutheran Church, and enjoy the hospitality of many of the best homes of Pike county. As a citizen, friend and neighbor our subject is true to every duty, and justly merits the esteem in which he is held."
~ Commemorative Biographical Record of Northeastern Pennsylvania: Including the Counties of Susquehanna, Wayne, Pike and Monroe, (Google eBook) J.H. Beers & Company, 1900, page 207-208.

Set back from the monument is the beautifully carved double headstone for Valentine Hipsman's parents, George Frederick and Elizabeth Hubschmann, by the stone cutter, William Goodliff.

Goodliff, a Civil War veteran from Barryville, New York, was likely a fellow member of the G.A.R. Post which Valentine Hipsman at one time commanded.

Michael A. Dreese in his superb book, The 151st Pennsylvania Volunteers at Gettysburg, mistakenly lists Pvt. Valentine Hipsman among those mortally wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Norman Gasbarro's excellent series on The Great Shohola Train Wreck, includes a chapter offering additional confirmation on details of Valentine E. Hipsman's life and insight into the part he played in the exhumation of the Union and Confederate soldiers killed in that tragedy at the King & Fuller's Cut, Shohola, PA.